MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: New York Baseball

  • After last week's performance against Hempstead, it might be difficult for Mike Delio to come up with an encore.

    Photo courtesy of Brian Krummenacker

    Carle Place's Mike Delio (front left)

    In his first varsity start on the mound, Delio struck out all 21 batters and threw a perfect game in leading Carle Place (N.Y.) to a 15-0 win over Hempstead, according to Newsday.

    "I've had dreams of throwing no-hitters and perfect games but nothing like this," Delio told Newsday. "This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

    Delio, a junior, had pitched two years on the junior varsity team before joining the varsity squad this year.

    While Delio's performance will be hard to duplicate, Carle Place coach Brian Krummenacker said he feels that Delio has a special talent.

    "Every time he takes the mound there is always the chance that he can do something special," said Krummenacker. "Today was the day."

  • It takes at least two people to replace a New York legend.

    Photo courtesy of Archbishop Molloy

    The late Jack Curran

    The New York Daily News reported on Friday that Archbishop Molloy (Queens, N.Y.) has named Mike McCleary as its head basketball coach and Brad Lyons as its head baseball coach. They replace legendary Jack Curran, who coached both sports at Molloy for 55 years until he died in March at age 82. Both served as interim coaches during Curran's illness.

    According to the National High School Record Book, Curran won 1,154 baseball games (No. 3 all-time) and 968 basketball games (No. 15 all-time) during his storied career. He also sent six players into the NBA.

    McCleary, also the school's athletic director, said he was not involved in the hiring process due to the obvious conflict of interest.

    He told the Daily News, "Losing coach Curran was a tremendous loss to the whole Molloy community. I was very close with him personally, so it was a hard time for me as well. I'm honored to get the chance to take over for him and, hopefully, I'll do it well. He was a tremendous coach and a tremendous mentor of mine."

    Lyons led the Stanners to a 13-4 record during the regular season.
  • In order to win a seven-inning baseball game, you need to record 21 outs. On Monday, Jake Shortslef of Hannibal (N.Y.) recorded all but one by strikeout.

    Photo courtesy of Hannibal High School
    According to, the senior right-hander racked up a New York Section III record-tying 20 strikeouts in a 3-1 complete game victory over Jordan-Elbridge (Jordan, N.Y.). The total was just two short of the seven-inning state record of 22, shared by two players.

    The feat was all the more surprising given the wintry conditions under which the game was played. The combination of snow, sleet, long sleeves and frozen fingers led Shortslef to believe it was going to be a struggle on the mound.

    "To be honest with you, I wasn’t feeling 100 percent," Shortslef told Donnie Webb of "I wasn’t expecting a good outing. I got the first nine outs and said, let’s see if I can go with this."

    And go with it he did.

    "He was spot on," said Hannibal coach Scott Leonard. "He’s got a great fastball and a curve ball he can spot anywhere. He’s got a nice little cutter, runs on those guys. He’s had great command the last two days out."

    Shortslef allowed just one hit, an RBI triple by Ryan Cooper in the sixth inning, and walked none.

    His next start is scheduled for Friday at home against Westhill (Syracuse, N.Y.).
  • Nerves were certainly on edge last week in New York City.

    Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
    Horace Mann (Riverdale, N.Y.) was on the verge of defeating baseball powerhouse Poly Prep Country Day (Brooklyn, N.Y.) for the first time in 12 years, but Poly had two on with two out, trailing by one with a power hitter at the plate in the top of the seventh.

    What ensued was incredible.

    Eric Mass raced from centerfield and ... well, see for yourself in the outstanding video provided to us by Mann student Jack Dolgin. Be sure to check it out when they slow it down for super slow motion as well.

  • Photo by Jim Stout

    Steve Mandl, Washington

    Sixteen months after he was first suspended for alleged recruiting violations, Washington (New York City) baseball coach Steve Mandl has been absolved of the charges against him.

    The Department of Education dismissed all charges against Mandl, who has more than 900 wins as the Trojans' coach.

    "It's bittersweet," the longtime coach told the New York Post. "I'm glad it finally happened, but I never doubted it because I didn't do anything wrong. I was jerked around."

    The decision came just one day before a binding arbitration hearing was scheduled to hear Mandl's appeal to overturn his suspension that caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. The Department of Education rescinded the suspension and also erased all mention of the suspension in official records. The Department of Education also awarded Mandl compensation that was lost during the time that he served his suspension.

    The original charges that cost Mandl the 2011 season stemmed from an alleged recruiting violation following the transfer of a player from Herbert Lehman High School to Washington. Mandl sat out the 2011 season on suspension while awaiting his appeal. During that time, the Trojans won the PSAL Class A championship under interim coach Nick Carbone.

    Mandl resumed coaching Washington this year and led the Trojans back to the PSAL Class A championship game where they fell to Grand Street Campus.

    In his appeal, Mandl was expected to have multiple witnesses testify that Mandl had not recruited the player in question.
  • The margin of error between winning and losing a baseball game against a quality opponent is slim. Three games over the weekend couldn't have made that fact more apparent, as all were decided by 1-0 scores.

    * Madison (Brooklyn, N.Y.) pitcher Joseph Cali spun a no-hitter at Fort Hamilton (Brooklyn, N.Y.), in a game decided by a walk-off walk in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday.

    As reported by the New York Daily News, there was only one hit the entire game, coming on a swinging bunt in the fourth inning against Cali's counterpart, Jonathan Maldonado. Fort Hamilton reliever Louis Liberta walked four Madison batters in the bottom of the seventh.

    It was the third no-hitter of the season thrown by Madison pitchers, and it continued a good stretch for the Knights against Fort Hamilton. According to the report, Madison was no-hit two years ago by Fort Hamilton on the same field but still won 1-0, thanks to an error.

    * As reported by, Hampton (Hampton, Va.) needed a perfect game from Yusef Davis to get past Hampton Christian (Va.) on Saturday. Davis fanned 12 and also drove in the game's only run in the third inning.

    * In a district title game in Washington, Cheney (Wash.) scored on a passed ball in the eighth inning to top East Valley (Spokane, Wash.). The Spokesman-Review reported that Cheney's Jeremy Alderman earned the complete-game win with a no-hitter (nine strikeouts), to best hard-luck loser J.T. Phelan. Phelan yielded just two hits and no runs in seven innings for East Valley.
  • The Lehman (Bronx, N.Y.) baseball team is down to its final few outs, so to speak, but at least the Lions will be able to go out with a roar.

    The team received a new $17,000 portable pitching mound last Friday, courtesy of the Education Department. It came a day after the same department announced that the school will shutter its doors at the end of the school year.

    As reported by the New York Daily News, it had been a rough stretch for Lehman and the baseball team, in particular. League officials had ruled last month that the Lions would have to play all of its remaining games on the road, because Lehman's previous portable mound did not meet state and national specifications.

    Instead, the Education Department had the new mound picked up from a company three hours away and delivered and installed at Lehman last week.

    "The timing was a little freaky because of the announcement of the closing of the school," Lehman athletic director Diane Hamilton told the newspaper. "That's the irony of the whole thing: You have a very bad announcement and then we get a little piece of joy (in the pitcher's mound)."

    Lehman was able to resume its home schedule Tuesday against Morris. Entering that game the Lions were 9-2 overall and 9-0 in the PSAL Bronx – A West league standings.
  • All no-hitters deserve recognition because they are one of the hallowed accomplishments in baseball.

    There are some that stand out over others, though, and Schuyler Bates of Kennedy Catholic (Somers, N.Y.) had one of those efforts Thursday. In tossing a no-hitter in a 5-0 win against Panas (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), Bates needed only 62 pitches to get the job done.

    As reported by, Bates nearly had a perfect game. The only blemish on the second no-hitter in Gaels program history was a fifth-inning infield error. An ensuing double play took care of that.
  • Although pitchers Gjon Ljucovic of Pelham (N.Y.) and Josh Hader of Old Mill (Millersville, Md.) have never met, they shared a common theme and common fate Tuesday.

    File photo by Jim Stout

    Gjon Ljucovic, Pelham

    Both were involved in "shared" no-hitters earlier this month. Both pitched their own complete-game, no-hit gems yesterday.

    Ljucovic, who was pulled by his coach, Brian Leighton, just three outs shy of a possible no-hitter on April 3, struck out 13 and walked three in leading Pelham to a 4-0 win against Saunders (Yonkers, N.Y.) at Glover Field.

    Since being restricted to 102 pitches and six innings in his first varsity start against White Plains (N.Y.) in early April, the junior righthander Ljucovic (3-0) has thrown a complete-game six-hitter in beating Dobbs Ferry (N.Y.), and felled Saunders with his no-no on 92 pitches.

    "It was funny because (Ljucovic) was kidding with us late in the game about staying in and completing (the no-hitter)," Leighton told MaxPreps. "But with a low pitch count, it was a pretty easy decision for Jack (assistant coach Plunkett) and I. Two no-hitters in three varsity starts is pretty impressive."

    So is the roll that Hader is on. The Old Mill senior lefthander has allowed no runs and no hits while striking out 28 and walking only four in his last two starts. Old Mill coach Jeff Martin had lifted Hader (7-0) after six innings and 91 pitches of no-hit ball last Friday against Southern (Harwood, Md.) before turning him loose for the complete-game no-hitter on Tuesday against Severna Park (Md.). He threw 103 pitches.

    "We actually only wanted Josh to throw 40 or 50 pitches last Friday but we were in a 0-0 game going into the fifth," Martin explained. "We scored seven runs in the fifth with two outs, and Josh pitched the sixth, and then we brought in a reliever to finish it out. He was originally scheduled to pitch today (Wednesday) but with the rainout on Monday we decided to start him yesterday with three day's rest."

    Lucky Severna Park.

    Ljucovic no-hitter, Pelham vs Saunders box
    Hader no-hitter, Old Mill vs. Severna Park box
    Compare Gjon Ljucovic, Josh Hader stats
  • How is this for making a first impression?

    In the first pitching start of his varsity career, Milford (Highland, Mich.) junior Derek Beslock was perfect. Literally.

    Beslock retired all 21 batters in order Thursday against Huron (Ann Arbor, Mich.) in a 6-0 victory. He struck out only one, instead relying on his defense to preserve the perfect game.

    "He's been a project of mine," first-year Milford coach John Rogatski told The Detroit News. "He was very methodical. He had excellent command of his curveball… That was his out pitch."

    Here are a few other notable recent baseball items:

    * Seaman (Topeka, Kan.) junior Ryan Colombo took a perfect game into the seventh inning before settling for a no-hitter Tuesday. As reported by The Topeka Capital-Journal, Colombo struck out the first batter of the seventh, but then walked four consecutive batters.

    He induced a groundball double play to end the game for a 5-1 victory against Hayden (Topeka, Kan.).

    "I'm pretty mad," Colombo told the newspaper. "I was trying to get a zero up there but I just got tired."

    * Logan Frati made history for his school, Eastport-South Manor (Manorville, N.Y.), firing the first perfect game in the program's 10-year existence, according to Newsday. Frati struck out 13 in the 10-0 win against Comsewogue (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) and needed only 74 pitches in his perfect effort.

    "It hasn't sunk in yet," Frati told the newspaper. "After it happened it was a surreal moment. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."

    * Goose Creek (S.C.) sophomore Cody Smith is having a season to remember. Smith tossed his second no-hitter of the season Tuesday in a 6-0 win against Geneva (N.Y.). The righthander pitched his first no-no on March 19.

    "The mood just wasn't the same," Smith told The Post and Courier. "It wasn't quite exciting as the first one. But it felt pretty good."

    * Spring Valley (Huntington, W. Va.) junior righthander Elijah Wellman turned in a Herculean effort, but didn't factor in the decision in a 2-1, 13-inning victory for the Timberwolves over Nitro (W.Va.) on Wednesday.

    Wellman pitched 10 hitless innings and struck out 22, as reported by the Charleston Gazette. In fact, Spring Valley pitchers spun 12-plus hitless innings overall, as Nitro's first hit came with two outs in the bottom of the 13th. The game lasted just a little more than 4 hours, according to the paper.

    Wellman didn't seem too concerned about not getting the individual win: "I was on tonight,'' he told the Gazette. "We played hard, had a good game today and everybody played as a team.''

    * Earlier this week we had an item on Toms River South baseball coach Ken Frank. Frank had tied the New Jersey mark for most baseball coaching wins, and Wednesday he moved to the top of the list with his 755th career victory.

    * Arlington Heights (Fort Worth, Texas) coach Tommy Elliott announced he will retire at the end of the season, after 30 years at the school and 36 years coaching overall. He has posted a 719-304 mark during his tenure.

    "I got to looking at that, and all within 20 games, I got my 700th win, 300th loss and 1,000th game," Elliott told the Star-Telegram. "All that kind of came at the same time, so maybe it's time to wind this dog and pony show down and let someone else do it."

    * A tip of the cap goes to the Baltimore Orioles, after it was announced that the Baltimore City Public School baseball championship will be played this season at Camden Yards, the home stadium of the Major League team.